“Learning to Read and Write” by Frederick Douglass is a personal narrative which describes a specific time in his childhood when he was learning to read and write. Born as a slave in the pre-Civil War south, Douglass was not expected to be literate. However, through strong ambition, Douglass overcame restrictions and stereotypes placed on slaves and taught himself to read and write. Later in his life, Frederick Douglass wrote down this story in his book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in 1845. Today, students and adults can enjoy this narrative on how he overcame the struggles of learning how to read and write. Although Frederick Douglass was not expected to be literate, he taught himself how because he believed that education should be for everyone, not just a few privileged children.
The legendary abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was one of the most important social reformers of the nineteenth century. Being born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation to his mother, Harriet Bailey, and a white man, most likely Douglass’s first master was the starting point of his rise against the enslavement of African-Americans. Nearly 200 years after Douglass’s birth and 122 years after his death, The social activist’s name and accomplishments continue to inspire the progression of African-American youth in modern society. Through his ability to overcome obstacles, his strive for a better life through education, and his success despite humble beginnings, Frederick Douglass’s aspirations stretched his influence through
N-e-w B-e-t-f-o-r-d, this what was Fredrick Douglass read when he stepped off the boat to the north. Just reading those words was an accomplishment. In his book The Narrative and Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave he details his experiences where knowledge is very key. Douglass shows how knowledge gained him the ultimate reward of freedom.
Frederick Douglass was a slave, who was owned by Mr and Mrs Hughes. He grew up knowing nothing about slavery and not knowing how to read or write, but his “mistress” or Mrs.Hughes suggested that he was taught. Mrs.Hughes began to teach him the basics like the alphabet, but Mr.Hughes did not allow this to happen and immediately told Mrs,Hughes to stop. With Mr.Hughes disapproving of Mrs.Hughes for teaching Douglass to read she stopped giving Douglass lessons, but this did not stop him from finding another way to
Frederick Douglass was a slave who, despite his circumstances, learned how to read and write. His undying desire to learn to read and write, is reason enough, to learn who Frederick Douglass was and why he was an important figure. Personally, I feel Frederick Douglass was, still is, an influential man, on the account of, his commitment to learn despite the danger these actions entailed.
In many countries living in extremely poor conditions, not only is basic health an issue but also the lack of education. Although it is a necessity, “more than 72 million children of primary education age are not in school and 759 million adults are illiterate” (Rights to Education 1). The deprivation of education should be taken serious if a change is wanted. People need to become aware of how important education is and the benefit that it has. Douglas and Malala struggled to gain an education in order to resist control by others, which affected their lives in multiple ways; however, they were able to reveal the value of education to all.
The power of education is a main theme within A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Douglass 's experiences lead him to recognize its great power and to believe that education is a key in our life. It has the power to open all doors while providing us with several opportunities. Education makes the difference; it expands the human mind since the more we know the more enlightened we are. It makes us free and it avoid us to be enslaved, too. However, literacy turns out to be not only bliss, but also painful. Indeed, while learning to read Frederick becomes more and more aware of the injustices of slavery, and this leads him to regret this knowledge “Learning how to read had become a curse rather than a blessing” ( Douglass ) .
An education often opens new doors for people, but how does a lack of an education affect other people? What causes such a stark difference between people with knowledge and people no knowledge at all? In the Narrative of Frederick Douglass an American Slave we can see that Douglass is more intelligent than the other slaves on the plantation he is living on due to his hidden ability to read. With his level of education, he is able to see the brutal mistreatment of slaves and is unable to look at things the same way when he was an uneducated slave. The slaves on the plantation do not know how to read and therefore do not view being a slave the way Douglass views it. The level of education of the slaves on the plantation allow them to be manipulated by their masters. In many situations during the 1800s when slavery was prominent we can see that education holds power in society. Slave masters were educated and due to this, they were able to exert control over the slaves on the plantation. Douglass was self-educated and was able to analyze slave behavior and see slavery occur firsthand as a slave himself. In the book, we can see how the slave’s ignorance is actually bliss from the perspective of Douglass, how information like knowing how to read was withheld from the slaves and why and why slave-owners preferred non-educated slaves to educated ones.
In Frederick Douglass's essay "Learning to read and write” he recalls the journey to enlightenment showcasing the emotions of joy, hunger, heartache and hope. For example learning to read sparked an unstoppable joy for knowledge. In addition the discovery of that knowledge found Douglass hungry for more. Also the quest for intelligence came at a price causing him a great amount of heartache. Finally a simple thought of the future brought the hope that ultimately inspired him to persevere and succeed in learning to read and write.
In Frederick Douglass’s narrative essay titled “Learning to Read” he recalls his journey to literacy. Throughout the essay Douglass reveals how he learned to read and write, despite the fact that education was strictly prohibited to slaves. Initially, Douglass learned how to read through his mistress, but he later learned from the little white boys on the streets. As for learning to write, he often times observed ship carpenters and replicated the copy-books of his Master’s son. Frederick Douglass did not have the same opportunities students have today, yet despite his adversities, Douglass was able to become a literate slave, and ultimately free himself from slavery with the power of
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery as the son of a white slave master father and a black slave mother in Maryland in 1818. He escaped from slavery in 1838 because of his literacy. It was only due to his ability to read, write, and think critically that Frederick Douglass was able to find his way form enslavement to freedom. Life before learning how to read and write for Douglass was bad because he wasn’t given enough to eat. “I was seldom whipped by my old master, and suffered little from anything else than hunger and cold” (Douglass 8).
Slaves were not supposed to be able to read or write and this made it hard. His mistress always got mad anytime she saw him reading. It was hard for him to accept the things he had read since they gave him more details about his race and what he was going through. Douglass learning how to read and write caused him to deal with his readings emotionally and mentally. Alexie thought that him learning how to read made him smart and he was very proud of doing so.
Frederick Douglass was born a slave in rural Talbot County and he served a family in Baltimore. After escaping to the North in 1838, he settled in Bedford, Massachusetts, where he became active in the abolitionist movement. His mistress was kind she taught him the letters of Alphabet and she always instruct him and one day she changed and suddenly stopped teaching him because of the inequality of the people. A form of EOF student stated “For Douglass, gaining knowledge was more of a curse than a blessing because, as a slave, education made him aware that he had absolutely no alternatives to his condition.” I disagree because education is important, he could help other slaves, and he could break off from the black stereotype.
Education Determines Your Destination Education is the light at the end of the tunnel, when Frederick uses it he discovers hope. In the story the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick goes through many struggles on his path to freedom, showing us the road from slavery to freedom. At the beginning of the book, Douglass is a slave in both body and mind. When the book ends, he gets both his legal freedom and frees his mind. The path to freedom was not easy, but it got clearer when he got an education.
Douglass belong to a well off family. The woman of the house thought him how to read and write some things. Until her husband found out that she was teaching him, then she suddenly stopped and was angry at Douglass, when he was reading. They felt like he would listen to the Irishman when he said “They both advised me to run away to the north; that I should find friends there, and that I should be free.” After losing his only source of teaching he resorted to the lest fortunate white kids for help.